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Specific examples to use on AWA --- How to come up with one?

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Specific examples to use on AWA --- How to come up with one? [#permalink] New post 13 Jul 2010, 07:26
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I have problem finding concrete evidence to support my idea as an example. Normally when I write an essay, I use theoretical constructs derived by logic to back them up. But from what I have seen in a lot of 6.0 Analysis of Issue samples, they are all backed up with some real-life examples, some of which I have never heard of before. For instance, in OG12, the 6.0 Analysis of Issue uses Yugo, a now-defunct US automobile manufacturer, as its example.

Some examples are taken from international scene, of which I have little knowledge. I do know some domestic examples but these matters are of little import on a global level and I am not sure if it would be wise to use such examples, since it will require me to recount background knowledge to the reader, wasting precious time in the process and possibly leading the essay astray. When I read the Yugo essay, I had no clue what the writer talked about. Yugo is, however, a US company, and we might assume that the reader is familiar with US environment. But could I use Grammy, the largest media & entertainment corporate in Thailand, without any introduction? I guess not. Anyone outside Thailand will be confounded by such an example.

How to overcome this problem? Can I simply make up some data to support my claim? (for example, In 2009, iPad's sales eclipsed Kindle's by a large margin, due to Apple's aggressive marketing. -- The truth is that I don't know anything about their sales, let alone the "aggressive marketing" part.) Do essay readers verify the validity of the examples?
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Re: Specific examples to use on AWA --- How to come up with one? [#permalink] New post 15 Jul 2010, 04:51
Good Question!!! I need an answer to this too!!!
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Re: Specific examples to use on AWA --- How to come up with one? [#permalink] New post 20 Jul 2010, 17:22
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I read your question and my first reaction is:

The people reading your answer are doing so in about 2 minutes total. The computer grading software and individual test evaluators are most likely programmed and trained to scan for proper nouns (capitalized names of places, companies, people, etc.) so the presence of a proper noun will generate interest or points

Also, just as you were not familiar with Yugo, some graders will not be familiar with <insert the name of a company>. Remember the graders are not selected for their wide knowledge of many subjects. They are selected for their #1 desire, and #2 ability to quickly scan many essays in a row.

With this in mind, your explanation is much more important. If you use an example that may not be commonly known, you must be sure the reason for using this example is clear. In fact it might be better to use a less commonly known example, because then if you finish early, you can go back an add one or two sentences explaining this background information of this example. This will increase the length and word count of your writing.

I am an American working as a college instructor in China, but I have never been a grader for standardized test essays.

So I can help....please explain how you will use Grammy in your writing.

As I write I think of good an bad examples.

Here are 2 that use the US company Microsoft.

Poor: "... Government regulation is needed in the software industry. Without government regulation we will end up with more cases like Microsoft."

Good: "... Government regulation of software companies is needed. Without government intervention leading software companies will use their power to stifle competition in the industry. The actions of Microsoft in the 1990's are a great example. Microsoft reduced competition by using different pricing strategies to convince computer builders to exclusively install Microsoft's Windows computer operating system. Computer builders who did not agree to exclusive use of Microsoft products were faced with significantly higher pricing. Recent court decisions against Microsoft have re-opened the operating system market. Now consumers can find computers with operating systems such as Linux, and Chrome from Google."

I hope the second example is clear to many readers, even those who are not familiar with Microsoft. If you find that it is not please tell me so I can increase my AWA score. :-D
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Re: Specific examples to use on AWA --- How to come up with one? [#permalink] New post 27 Jul 2010, 11:11
This is a good question. I've often wondered if the examples have to be accurate. While under considerable time constraints, it's easy to struggle to come up with 2 or 3 solid real world examples. On a recent practice exam, I received an issue about great teachers interacting with students. I brought up Socrates and the Socratic method, but I'm not sure how exactly how the method works. I haven't gone back to look it up (yet), but if I used this example that incorrectly but the way I described it made the argument compelling, how would that effect my score?
Re: Specific examples to use on AWA --- How to come up with one?   [#permalink] 27 Jul 2010, 11:11
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